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Eight was a very recurrent number in Al-Andalous (the Muslim Spain) and particularly important in the city of Córdoba. Jorge Luis Borges in his short tale “The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim” wrote: “Al-Mu’tasim (the eighth son of the Abbasid dynasty who was victorious in eight battles, who had eight sons and eight daughters, who left eight thousand slaves and ruled for eight years, each one with eight moons and eight days)”.

We find the number eight in many symbols. The Seal of Solomon is a symbol of great importance for a good deal of civilizations. This star replicates throughout the world. It is said, for instance, that the Tartessos (an ancient an mythical civilization located in the South West of the actual Andalusia) used this symbol.

The Star consists of two overlapping squares and it is vastly known to be an Islamic symbol. It also goes by the name of Star of Abd al-Rahman I, who was the first ruler of Al-Andalous and established the capital of the new Caliphate in Córdoba, and from this city the Star was popularized all around the Mediterranean sea. Arabs call this star Rub el hizb, rub means “fourth” and hizb means “part”: the fourth part. Also Muslim heaven is depicted as surrounded by eight mountains.

On the other hand, Christianity has also a close relationship with this number. For instance, 8 is mentioned 80 times in Bible, and another 80 times in the Torah. Eight are the blessings recounted by Jesus in the Sermon of the Mountain. David was the eighth son of Isaiah and Solomon was the eight son of David. The New Testament was written by eight men. And it all begun the eighth day, the seventh day of creation God rested (it was Sunday in Heaven).

Eight is the key to decipher the Cordoba proportion a sort of golden ratio developed by the Córdoba architect Rafael de la-Hoz Arderius but that was in fact used in many ancient buildings such as the Mezquita. The value of this proportion is 1,306562964 which accounts for the relationship between the edge and the radius of an octagon. Eight walls conform the most sacred part of the Mezquita. Eight edges have each one of its domes. There are eight provinces in the current Spanish southern region of Andalusia. Isabel and Fernando, the Catholic Kings, lived in Córdoba during eight years. And there are in Córdoba eight World Heritage sites.

There are eight musical notes. A chess board has a dimension of 8x8 resulting in 64 ranks. There are 8 trigrams in the Book of Changes (the I Ching). Pythagoras believed 8 to be the number of justice as it can always be divided in two equal parts. Each bonded atom has eight valence electrons. Eight petals has the polar rose of Foucault. 1 byte consists of 8 bits. Eight vertexes has a cube and eight tentacles has an octopus. The working hours are eight.

In China eight is the a lucky number and that is why their Olympic Games started the 8th of August (the eighth month of the year) of 2008 at exactly 8h 8’ 8’’ pm. In China’s hotels, rooms’ numbers containing an eight are more expensive.

And last but not least, it has been eight years since this wonderful Hotel Viento10 opened its doors; and there are also eight rooms.

We are certainly loving this number eight almost as much as the number ten!

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